Saturday, April 30, 2022

"The Foreclosures Have Begun - High Interest Rates Have Killed Real Estate"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 4/30/22:
"The Foreclosures Have Begun - 
High Interest Rates Have Killed Real Estate"
"The real estate market is starting to crash. The foreclosures have begun even in the higher end communities. The adjustable rate mortgages are going to ravage the real estate market next. Talking about fact that people don’t want to admit that they can’t afford the properties that they actually live in."

"A Scary Theory About What's Coming..."

Canadian Prepper, 4/30/22:
"A Scary Theory About What's Coming..."
"A theory about the coming global conflict."

"Scariest Market I Have Seen; Lose Your Job, Lose Your House"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 4/30/22:
"Scariest Market I Have Seen; 
Lose Your Job, Lose Your House"

Musical Interlude: 2002, "The Calling"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "The Calling"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Why isn't this ant a big sphere? Planetary nebula Mz3 is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun that is, surely, round. Why then would the gas that is streaming away create an ant-shaped nebula that is distinctly not round?
Clues might include the high 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible above at the nebula's center. One possible answer is that Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. Since the central star appears to be so similar to our own Sun, astronomers hope that increased understanding of the history of this giant space ant can provide useful insight into the likely future of our own Sun and Earth.”

The Poet: Robert Frost, "Acceptance "

"Acceptance"

 "When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened.
Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be."

- Robert Frost

Chet Raymo, “What Not to Believe”

“What Not to Believe”
by Chet Raymo

“In Stacy Schiff's biography of Cleopatra, I came across this epigraph from Euripides: "Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe." I have no idea which of Euripides' plays the quote is from, but it strikes me as a suitable source for reflection. Credulity is the default state of a human life. Children are born to believe, to accept as true what they are told by adults. An innate credulity has survival value in a dangerous world. If a grown-up says "There are crocodiles in the river," it is probably best to stay out of the water.

Skepticism, on the other hand, must be learned. I was late in realizing that I didn't have to believe the received "truth." My best teacher was a somewhat older Panamanian secular Jew I went to graduate school with at UCLA. We took our brown-bag lunches together in the university's botanical garden, and spent the hour talking about physics, religion, and the "meaning of life."

Moises was the first person I had encountered after sixteen years of Catholic education who mentioned the word "skepticism." "Why do you believe that?" he would ask, and often I had no answer except that it was what my family and teachers told me was true. The idea that I might actually examine the basis for my beliefs was a rather new concept. In matters of religion, like almost everyone else in the world, I had embraced uncritically the faith story into which I was born.

And thus began my search for "a judicious sense of what not to believe." When later, as a teacher, I wrote a little column for each issue of the college newspaper, I called it "Under a Skeptical Star," from a line of the Scots poet/scholar William MacNeile Dixon: "If there be a skeptical star I was born under it, yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." A liberating sense of what not to believe opened the door to a vastly more interesting world whose diverse and astonishing riches I continue to explore to this day."

"The Hand We're Dealt..."

“Bad things don’t happen to people because they deserve for them to happen. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s just… life. And no matter who we are, we have to take the hand we’re dealt, crappy though it may be, and try our very best to move forward anyway, to love anyway, to have hope anyway… to have faith that there’s a purpose to the journey we’re on.”
- Mia Sheridan

"A Long March Through The Night..."

"The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in times of despair."
- Bertrand Russell

"Time to Worry"

"Time to Worry"
by Brian Maher

“If we get a recession in 2022 or 2023,” The Wall Street Journal informs us, “it’ll be a mild one.” Just so. And if RMS Titanic strikes a North Atlantic berg en route to New York… it will only be a tiny one. The United States Department of Commerce reports that first-quarter gross domestic product contracted 1.4%. The shrinking was “unexpected” - at least by the experts among us. A Dow Jones survey of economists had divined a 1% quarterly gain.

What evils account for the 1.4% receding? Reports CNBC: "Rising COVID Omicron infections to start the year hampered activity across the board, while inflation surging at a level not seen since the early 1980s and the Russian invasion of Ukraine also contributed to the economic stasis."

Can They Ever Get It Right? Were Dow Jones’ surveyed economists unaware of rising Omicron infections? Of inflation at a level not seen since the early 1980s? Of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? We are reminded of an inept physician who perpetually misreads the vital signs. Some might label him a “quack.” In the interest of decorum, we will not. Yet he somehow retains his prestige, despite his multiple botchings.

These same experts insist that first-quarter returns are something of an aberration - that the contractionary forces will soon clear out. “This is noise; not signal,” insists Mr. Ian Shepherdson - chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics - “the economy is not falling into recession.”

Is It Actually Signal, Not Noise? Yet Simona Mocuta, chief economist with State Street Global Advisors, gives the alternate prognosis: "In retrospect, this could be seen as a pivotal report. It reminds us of the reality that… things are changing and they won’t be that great going forward."

Deutsche Bank - incidentally - forecasts a “significant recession” late next year. Its crackerjacks hazard the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates frantically to cage the inflationary menace presently running at large. We incline toward the Deutsche Bank position.

We note that the 10-year Treasury yield scaled 2.88% today… the highest level since 2018. Rising “growth stocks” such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Netflix have elevated the overall stock market. Yet growth stocks are exquisitely sensitive to rising interest rates. And the same growth stocks that can push… can also pull.

Growth Stocks Giveth, Growth Stocks Taketh Away: Explains Mr Peter Tchir of Academy Securities: "Companies relying on future cash flow growth experience much greater risk as rates rise, and that has been the part of the market that has really driven returns in the stock market. That is why some parts of the market, like the Nasdaq-100, which is heavy in technology stocks, is getting hit much more than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has [fewer] companies expecting outsized growth.

Perhaps we should not be surprised then that the stock market endured another hemorrhaging Friday. The Dow Jones gushed 939 crimson points. The S&P 500 shed 155… while the Nasdaq Composite bled 536 points of its own - a 4.17% devastation.

Growth stock Amazon initiated the bloodspill. Reports CNBC: "U.S. stocks fell Friday with the Nasdaq Composite on pace for the worst month since 2008, as Amazon became the latest victim in the technology-led sell-off… Amazon on Friday sunk about 14% - its biggest drop since 2006 - after the e-commerce giant reported a surprise loss and issued weak revenue guidance for the second quarter…"

The Nasdaq is down around 12%, on pace for its worst monthly performance since October 2008 in the throngs of the financial crisis. The S&P 500 is down more than 7%, its worst month since March 2020 at the onset of the COVID pandemic. The Dow is off by nearly 4% for the month. And so we wonder: Will interest rates march higher and higher?

Is the 40-Year Cycle Ending? Mr. Michael Hartnett is Bank of America’s chief investment strategist. The cycle is reversing, he claims. Both inflation and interest rates are heading the other way. Writes Business Insider: "The lower inflation of the last 40 years that sent interest rates down and stock market valuations higher has reached a turning point… “We believe we are at a secular turning point for both inflation & interest rates,” Hartnett and a team of BofA strategists said in a note Thursday."

But why? Hartnett and his team continue: We believe 2020 likely marked a secular low point for inflation and interest rates due to a reversal of deflationary secular factors, fiscal excess and an explosive cyclical reopening of the global economy creating excess demand for goods, services and labor."

What does the foregoing suggest for the stock market? Markets have witnessed eight major cycles dating to 1871. Investors hauled in the greatest gains - nearly all of them - in four cycles of the eight. Investors handed over their gains in the remaining four cycles. The silent thief of inflation robbed them. Importantly: The bulking majority of market gains across these cycles were harvested during disinflationary cycles - not inflationary cycles.

A Decade of Losses: What if Mr. Hartnett is correct? What if the 40-year cycle of declining inflation and declining interest rates is ending? What if both are streaking higher? It would suggest hard sledding for stocks during the coming years… as the cycle swings from disinflation… to inflation.

At present valuations, stocks could potentially plummet some 50% or more. And by some estimates, your odds of losing money in the stock market approach 100% - odds that would make the bravest fellow quail. So much for the following decade. What if we train our binoculars on the farthest horizon… 20 years out?

20 Years of Losses? Mr. Michael Carr instructs technical analysis at New York Institute of Finance. Says he: “Starting from this level, stocks are likely to disappoint over the next 20 years.” Twenty years? That is correct: "When the P/E ratio is near all-time highs, as it is now, the S&P 500 delivers annual returns averaging about 5% over the next 20 years. When the P/E ratio is near all-time lows, returns are about three times higher, averaging 15.4% a year over the next 20 years."

Yet as we are fond to say: Climate is what you can expect. Weather is what you actually get. Even the harshest bear market has its joys, as even the harshest winter has its thaws. And the Horae - the Greek goddesses of the seasons - are fickle and capricious beings. Their plans are not known to us. Yet we hazard the overall forecast is poor. Are you outfitted for heavy weather?"
Thank you for reading The Daily Reckoning! We greatly value your questions and comments. Please send all feedback to feedback@dailyreckoning.com.

"Stagflation!"

"Stagflation!"
Rising inflation and economic contraction... 
you ain't seen nothing yet!
by Joel Bowman

Buenos Aires, Argentina - "Is it just that Elon Musk is an immigrant from a poor country, or is it because he’s African American that has got the woke mob’s unisex panties in such a bunch? We’ll “circle back” to all things Twitter/Musk related in tomorrow’s Sunday Sesh. For now, let’s concentrate on what’s in front of us... a stock market meltdown, a (synchronized?) fiat currency “race to the bottom” and a curious phenomenon that Austrian School economists call “stagflation.”

Where to begin? “The Generals,” as Dan Denning has been referring to them (that is, mega cap S&P 500 stocks like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla, Alphabet etc.) were in full, disorderly retreat on Friday. Here’s ol’ mate Denning with the wrap..."Well, that was ugly... On the back of a disappointing earnings announcement from Amazon, the Nasdaq lost over four percent on the day. It was down over 13% in April (the worst month since October of 2008) and is now down over 20% for the year (bear market territory).

The Dow Jones Industrials rallied late to avoid a thousand-point loss on the day. A thousand points doesn’t mean anything technically. But it’s a big number and makes for big headlines. And more fear. Meanwhile the S&P 500 fell over three and a half percent. The minus 13.37% start to the year is the third-worst start ever, and the worst in 83 years. It started down 17.3% in 1939 and 28.2% in 1932."

Now, your weekend editor is no quant trader...but them there numbers sure do look bad! Meanwhile, economists were “surprised” to discover the economy shrank by 1.4% during the first quarter. They had been expecting 1% growth. Oopsie! It’s a good thing these wonks aren’t working as civil engineers... or pilots... or oncologists... Can you imagine?

“So, we made our calculations, using the decolonized 2+2=5 math equations, and the structure looked stable...” “It appears the pilot had been expecting the tarmac to be in the opposite direction...” “Right, well... the thing is, ‘remission’ can mean different things to different people...”

And here comes murmurings of that dusty old Econ. 101 term, scarcely heard in the US since 1974, when it was all the rage: “stagflation.” For those who had better things to do in college, stagflation is characterized by negative growth coupled with persistently high inflation (not “transitory,” mind you... persistently).

High unemployment is another hallmark of stagflation and, although at 3.6% unemployment is “officially” low, the fact that workers real wages (that is, adjusted for inflation) are falling like a rock does not help the situation. In the ‘74 recession, job losses lagged inflation and economic contraction by some months. All told, some 2.3 million Americans lost their jobs during the 16-month recession.

With the consumer price inflation gauge boiling over at a 40 year high and this week’s “shock” news that the economy is actually contracting, it might be time to whip out the old bell bottoms and platform shoes. One gets the feeling that, as Bachman-Turner Overdrive sang in the summer of ‘74, “B-b-b-baaaaby, you ain’t seen nu-nu-nu-nothing yet!”

Of course, President Joe “The Buck Stops With Me” Biden was on hand to claim full responsibility for the economic mess his administration hath wrought. From his official Whitehouse Statement... "While last quarter’s growth estimate was affected by technical factors, the United States confronts the challenges of COVID-19 around the world, Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength."

And here we invite any reader, thus far unconvinced of the president’s “position of strength,” to witness the man in full flight...

Just remember, it was only a couple of years before we went from “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” to Kansas’s Point of No Return album... thereafter, it was all dust in the wind..."

The Daily "Near You?"

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Thanks for stopping by!

Jim Rickards, "1 Little Chart And The End of America: The Crisis Unfolding"

"1 Little Chart And The End of America:
 The Crisis Unfolding"
by Jim Rickards

"Jim Rickards here. A month ago, I went live from Washington DC and warned America of an impending financial crisis. And it’s ALL being covered up or underreported. For starters… I bet you’ve seen the inflation story that the media is sharing. You’ve seen high prices at your local gas station, and I’m sure you’re frustrated. More important, still, I bet you’ve seen your investments wither away here in 2022. The market has been a bloodbath… and many American investors have lost more than 10% of their net worth in the first 4 months. (More if you’re in tech or crypto).

This is a confusing and tumultuous time for all Americans. And it’s about to get much, much worse. You see, the topics that you’ll see on your local news or mainstream financial press only scratch the surface of what’s really going on. Fact is, there’s something much more historic happening under the surface. (Something dating all the way back to 1919.)

Things like inflation, the war in Ukraine, and huge market volatility and investment pain are all just symptoms of a much larger problem at play. It’s the supervolcano that’s been brewing underneath the global financial system. And once it blows, just days from now, it could take down the entire U.S. economy, and financial system with it. You see, in less than a week from now, an announcement from a major agency with deep ties to the U.S. government is going to change your life, and the lives of millions of Americans practically overnight. That’s because this announcement has the power to:

• Set off a massive wave of defaults across the U.S. banking system (You’ve already seen what’s happening with banks in Canada and the Ukraine. Imagine something of that magnitude happening here)

• Send the Dow plummeting by more than 80% in just a matter of weeks (And it is not just me saying that. As I’ll show you later this week it’s people like Michael Burry, Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, Billionaire investors Ray Dalio and Jeremy Grantham, and more).

• And ruin the lives of millions of Americans at or near retirement (If you thought 2008 was bad, this could be 10 times worse).

And because the mainstream media is distracted with geopolitics, most Americans have no idea what is about to happen.

Now, for those of you that follow my work, you know this isn’t the first time I’ve done something like this. In fact, on June 20th of 2016, I broadcasted live from London and said that the United Kingdom would vote to leave the European Union. At the time most people couldn’t imagine that I was right, and probably thought I was a fool for putting it all on the line and making that prediction. But just three days later the votes came in…And I was right.

Then again, on November 4th of that same year, the night before one of the most polarizing elections in history…I stood in front of the Trump tower and told the world that Donald Trump was going to win this election. And even though 99% of the polls said I was wrong, I turned out to be exactly right.

I even went live just a few months ago to warn everyone about the coming crisis in Ukraine, saying that it was a 90% certainty it was going to happen. And though very few people listened to me at the time, we all know how that situation has turned out.

But what I’m going to reveal on May 2nd at 2 p.m. ET is much bigger than any of those predictions… It’s by far the biggest prediction of my career. And it's one of my most certain. That’s why I’ll be recording an urgent Zoom with my publisher Matt Insley to break down the situation.

It all has to do with a small pattern…one that’s NOT a traditional market-based indicator, but one that’s appeared before every financial crash in history, with only two possible exceptions in history. And once this announcement is made by this quasi-government agency, the next step in this pattern will be set in motion. At that point the crash is virtually guaranteed.

Again it’s not just me saying that. People like Michael Burry:

“This will be the mother of all crashes…
the losses will approach the size of countries.”
- Big Short Investor Michael Burry

Charlie Munger:
“This must end badly”
- Charlie Munger, Warren Buffets right hand man.

And even Ray Dalio:
“We are in a worse position than 2008”
- Ray Dalio

They are all warning of the same thing. And your wealth, your livelihood, and even your happiness are all at stake. But what you may not yet know is why. Why am I so certain that the U.S. stock market is about to suffer a major collapse? Instead of telling you why, I’m going to show you. Take a look at this:
This pattern has appeared before nearly every major market crash in recorded history. It appeared before the 1987 stock market crash, when the Dow plunged 23% in a single day, and trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated overnight.

It appeared before the dot.com bubble 2000, just before the NASDAQ dropped 75%, and didn’t recover for nearly 15 years. And it appeared in 2006, before the stock market lost more than half of its value, as millions of investors around the country watched in horror as their dreams of an early retirement went up in flames.

And the next step of this pattern is set to appear just a few days from now. And once it does, the stock market's fate, as well as the financial futures of millions of Americans, will become sealed…"

"Halt and Catch Fire..."

"There's a great phrase, 'Halt and Catch Fire', which means, basically, you know sh&t's going to hit the fan, so you stop, accept it and move the [another expletive we'd prefer not to write] on. 'Halt and Catch Fire'is an early machine command that sent the machine into a race condition, forcing all conditions to compete for superiority at once." 
- Addison Wiggin

“Don’t Worry, It’s Just Temporary”

“Don’t Worry, It’s Just Temporary”
by Jeffrey Tucker

"What is it with these pundits and government people? No matter how bad the news is, we are always given the same message. Don’t panic, it’s only temporary! It’s been this way for two years. It was “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Then it was “transitory inflation.”

This week, it’s the same. The GDP shrank 1.4% annualized and what do they tell us? That this is noise, not a signal. It’s only a flesh wound. The economy will soon bounce back. Just give it time! Sure, but how much time? How deep can the recession/depression get? No one knows for sure. We know by now that the experts are happy to lie about their intuitions, if only to keep the public calm.

Truth is that based on the existing data, we are very deep into the formation of the real thing: an inflationary recession. It’s also called stagflation. Yes, that very thing that decades ago economists said would be impossible. It happened anyway in the 1970s. And it’s happening now. The only question that remains is just how bad this can get.

Making a Recession: To be sure, the GDP as a statistical measure of economic growth is a hot mess. When government spends money, it counts as growth. When businesses sustained by subsidies flop, it counts as shrinkage, even though that frees up resources. Even trade deficits that count into the mix of GDP, such as exports are good and imports are bad.

Still, it’s worth paying attention because no matter how bad the calculations are they are at least consistent quarter to quarter. So this last-quarter shrinkage comes as a bit of a shock. And let’s say we take it at face value.

It’s exceedingly difficult to bring about economic shrinkage following a forced closure of economic life two years ago, one that lasted for 20 months in many places. All a government has to do under these conditions is take its hand off the controls. We should have been in a huge period of massive economic growth by now. We are talking late-19th-century levels. There’s no excuse. But of course, that’s not what happened.

The Biden administration has been brutal in its tax plans, regulatory impositions, and daily threats against fossil fuel, crypto, and just about everyone. And then there’s the war - the US government is doing its best to make it last and last - and its further wrecking of supply chains. The result should not surprise us.

Another factor relates to market psychology. Fact is that governments all over the country fundamentally attacked property rights and free enterprise. That sends a signal to all would-be investors: no one’s businesses are wholly safe in the long term. This explains why so much investment that is taking place right now is not based on long-term commitment, but rather on a short-term hope to make a buck and move on. Inflation only intensifies that problem.

But let’s be clear. There is no such thing as sustainable property without long-term security in capital ownership. Without that, we are on a slow trajectory toward Haiti, a place where everyone works hard but wealth somehow never manages to accumulate and become mighty.

The Labor Shortage Mystery: One major factor that makes this inflationary recession different from any we’ve seen before is the weird labor shortage. Ask anyone why it is happening. No regular person seems to have an answer. Where are the workers? Some three millions are just missing. Businesses don’t understand it and the media isn’t even curious. The Chamber of Commerce has produced a remarkable analysis of this that has received very little or no attention at all. “There’s not just one reason that workers are sitting out,” the Chamber writes “but several factors have come together to cause the ongoing shortage.”

What’s Going On? Here’s a reason we are not hearing about this: the explanation falls along gendered lines. One third of non-employed women said that during the pandemic lockdowns, they had to leave the workforce to care for children or other family members. They left and did not come back. As for men, a quarter said that their industry was suffering and good jobs just didn’t make coming back worth it.

Drill down a bit more and you find that unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and shifted financial priorities have meant that people have been able to live off the largess. People moved in with mom and dad. They curbed their ambitions. The $4 trillion added to US savings accounts over two years mean that people have just decided to get by. Two thirds of workers who aren’t working report that they can earn more from unemployment than from wages.

What about the future? Most men will eventually come back to work. Not so for women: one third have said they are better off tending to home matters, rather than fighting in the rat race of modern employment, especially with school and childcare so sketchy.

Retirement: Finally, we have early retirement. Many people in their late 50s just decided to take their pension and go. And get this: Additionally, women are participating in the labor force at the lowest rates since the 1970s. In the spring of 2020, 3.5 million mothers left their job, driving the labor force participation rate for working moms from around 70% to 55%. This number is improving - but it has not fully rebounded.

Now, do you see why we haven’t heard about this? Incredibly, the pandemic response wiped out 50 years of what “feminists” used to call “gains for women!” We are back to the point that fewer than half of married women with children are in the workforce. That there is zero mention of this astonishing fact in the public press is absolutely remarkable. It’s an indication of just how much is being covered up.

Lower labor force participation is certain to have an effect on GDP numbers. Supply chain snarls add to it. Rising interest rates threaten many industries. I’m completely at a loss to understand how anyone thinks that all things will improve in the next reporting quarter. And remember that the National Bureau of Economic Research defines a recession as two consecutive declines in GDP. Well, we’re already halfway there."

"Societal Collapse "

"Societal Collapse"
by Hardscrabble Farmer

"Anyone interested in understanding the mechanics of human history must first and foremost understand the cycles of Nature and the nature of living things. There exists a balance in every closed system; creation and dissolution, growth and decay, life and death. There is no escape from this dynamic, no means by which one can exist without the other. Sometimes societies ascend, but eventually, over time, they collapse.

For a very long time America has benefited from exploiting the reserves of other nations  their labor, their resources, and their environments in a form of cultural strip mining. It has given the appearance of a sustainable system that required no effort to store surpluses or to build reserves for the future. There has been a perpetual live for the moment feel to our experience that was based on such illusory systems as credit and fiat.

These things are not real. They are manifest realities, things that exist only because a critical mass of people agree to believe in them rather than what is reflected by actuality. When such time occurs that a large enough number of people abandon their participation in that system, reality rushes in to the void left behind.

A large part of what we are seeing - as described to us by experts or media -is occult in nature, hidden not by design or subterfuge, but due to the ignorance or stupidity of the mass of men. They no longer recognize that a large part of what is taking place on the streets of cities like Portland and Minneapolis is simply a mating ritual for a generation that was so atomized and dissolute that they had no opportunity to make real life connections with the opposite sex except through electronic devices. Living beings cannot - despite the assurances of the Musks and Weils - exist by proxy.

They must eat, sleep, perform some activity during their waking hours, seek companionship, etc. These drives can be sublimated or suppressed either by societal controls or chemical dependencies, but they cannot be removed from our core drive. This is what happens when humans are thwarted from fulfilling their animal destinies, the drives of their particular species. If you eliminate the family, you do not stop fornication. If you eradicate healthy foods and a connection to its production, you do not eliminate hunger. Thus the dramatic rise in obesity and the ubiquity of pornography.

Everything exists in context, there is no way to eliminate the void left behind in a fatherless home without a corresponding flow of the feminine. A mind that has no reason will seek to replace it with an equal measure of emotion.

The Western Cultural experience that gained prominence and near global hegemony over the past several centuries is in terminal decline, accelerated by the opportunistic interference of competing cultural spheres, but predominantly by its own senescence. We are, in short, spent. What we are seeing is not a political or ideological struggle - again, manifest realities - but the natural process of a cultural expiration. The West is dying and with it all of the ideals and symbols that were attached to its rise.

Just as an elderly family member in their last days makes a point to give away their possessions, America is passing its treasures on; freedom of speech, the iconic symbols of Manifest Destiny like the statues of its heroes, even its own birthright to the rising of a new cultural expression, one that is less concerned with things like honor, nobility, truth and justice. None of those things exist in Nature, but rather are created and used like iron tools to achieve an end. Now that its energy is spent they serve no purpose, especially to the multitudes of others who share a far more dynamic and exuberant expression of collective identity.

This is a natural event, no different from a forest fire, but one which applies to the human species specifically. This is how we clear the ground for whatever is to replace us and we will serve as its fertilizer."

"Not The 1970s Or The 1920s: We're In Uncharted Territory"

"Not The 1970s Or The 1920s: We're In Uncharted Territory"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"The awakening of inflation after decades of slumber has triggered a flurry of comparisons to the 1970s accompanied by a chorus of projections for 1970s-type stagflation, defined as inflation plus economic stagnation - limited or negative growth and high unemployment. A less popular comparison is with the 1920s: a massive expansion of debt, an equally massive speculative bubble in assets and extreme wealth-income inequality, all against a backdrop of slowing growth and debt saturation. Each of these eras shares certain characteristics with the present, but beneath the surface there are consequential systemic differences. Let's start with the 1970s.

The oil shock that fueled inflation had two sources: 1) the oil-exporting nations took control of their hydrocarbon resources and repriced them in the context of 2) declining reserves and production in the West, particularly the U.S., which had been the Saudi Arabia of the world through the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

A second, much less understood dynamic was the immense investment required to clean up the U.S. industrial base. Pollution in the U.S. was out of control by the early 1970s, with toxic rivers catching fire and high levels of air pollution. The oil shock prompted federal regulations on pollution and improvements in the basic efficiency of appliances, vehicles, etc.

This was a major sea change for the entire industrial sector, and it required immense investments of capital and a painful learning curve. This diversion of capital depressed profits and acted as an economy-wide tax on the system. In today's money, the overall cost of this transition was in the trillions of dollars.

The debt levels in the 1970s were by today's standards absurdly modest. The cultural values of frugality and avoidance of debt still held, and there was resistance to heavy public-private borrowing that has completely vanished.

The demographics of the 1970s was also completely different from today. The 65-million strong Baby Boom generation was entering the workforce and starting families and enterprises. The demographic double-whammy was the mass entry of women into the workforce as opportunities and ambitions expanded.

Meanwhile, the energy picture was brightening under the radar as the development of newly discovered super-giant oil fields in Alaska, the North Sea and Africa began. It took many years to bring these new hydrocarbon sources online, but by the mid 1980s, the price of oil had fallen to lows that slashed the income of oil exporting nations, including the Soviet Union.

None of these conditions are present today. Much of America's domestic production was offshored in the past 20 years, the demographics are no longer as favorable (soaring population of elderly and flatlined workforce) and the production from the super-giant fields brought online in the 1970s is declining. There are no new super-giant fields in the global pipeline to replace those in the depletion phase of declining production.

As for the 1920s: the parallels are debt saturation and speculative excess against a backdrop of an economy that feasted on debt-fueled spending and speculation while absorbing new technologies. The differences are the U.S. still had immense natural resources and relatively limited infrastructure in the 1920a. While private debt was through the roof - $100 in a stock market account leveraged $900 in stock purchases due to the 10% cash margin requirement -federal debt was still modest compared to modern levels. This set the stage for massive expansions of federal debt in World War II that funded sustained investments in infrastructure through the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

In the present, we have all the fragilities of the 1920s and few of the strengths. We have all the debt saturation and speculative bubble excesses but our resources have been heavily tapped and every sector of the economy is heavily indebted. All of these similarities and differences are setting up a sea-change revaluation of capital, resources and labor that will be on the same scale as the tumultuous transformations of the 1920s and 1970s. We're in uncharted territory. More on these revaluations next week."

"Massive Shrinkflation At Dollar Tree! This is Crazy!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 4/30/22:
"Massive Shrinkflation At Dollar Tree! This is Crazy!"
"In today's vlog we are Dollar Tree, and are noticing massive food products that have shrunk in size! We are here to explain skyrocketing prices, and a lot of empty shelves! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"

"How It Really Is"

 

"War..."

"Since the rise of the state some 5,000 years ago, military activity has occurred over much of the globe. The advent of gunpowder and the acceleration of technological advances led to modern warfare. According to Conway W. Henderson, "One source claims that 14,500 wars have taken place between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, costing 3.5 billion lives, leaving only 300 years of peace (Beer 1981: 20).] An unfavorable review of this estimate mentions the following regarding one of the proponents of this estimate: "In addition, perhaps feeling that the war casualties figure was improbably high, he changed 'approximately 3,640,000,000 human beings have been killed by war or the diseases produced by war' to 'approximately 1,240,000,000 human beings...&c.'" The lower figure is more plausible but could still be on the high side considering that the 100 deadliest acts of mass violence between 480 BC and 2002 AD (wars and other man-made disasters with at least 300,000 and up to 66 million victims) claimed about 455 million human lives in total."

Friday, April 29, 2022

"OMG..."They Will Declare WW3 Within Days"- UK Defense Secretary"

Full screen recommended.
"OMG..."They Will Declare WW3 Within Days"- UK Defense Secretary"
by Canadian Prepper
“Putin will declare WW3 in days” says UK defense secretary; Britain sending troops, major NATO exercises planned; Moldova front ready to flare up; Worst heatwave in Pakistan and Indias recorded history will lead to crop failures; coal shortages; bird flu human case in Colorado; unprecedented water shortages in California will increase food shortages; all hell is breaking loose - head on a swivel..."

"Shortages Of A Few Items Now Will Evolve Into Shortages Of Hundreds Of Products Later In 2022"

Full screen recommended.
"Shortages Of A Few Items Now Will Evolve 
Into Shortages Of Hundreds Of Products Later In 2022"
by Epic Economist

"The global supply chain crisis is creating chronic shortages of several items we consume on a daily basis. These shortages are leading consumers to turn to other products or brands instead. However, given that the entire system is facing mounting disruptions, the shift in consumer demand is sparking a ripple effect, which is resulting in the emergence of hundreds of other shortages that are likely to intensify and become even more extensive throughout the year. On top of the bottlenecks caused by black swan events such as the health crisis, lockdowns, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and a devastating bird flu, natural disasters and factory fires are hitting our domestic supply chains as well, and authorities have never been so worried about a potential collapse in food production. Even the United Nations is admitting that the whole world is heading to the worst global food crisis since the 1940s. So we must be prepared because those who think that supply chain problems are severe now will be shocked to see what is coming next.

Whenever you go out shopping at your local supermarket, you’ll notice that stockouts and empty shelves are becoming a regular thing. There have been so many product shortfalls since the burst of the health crisis, that many consumers aren’t even surprised anymore when they can’t find the items they want. Right now, we’re experiencing a moment of relative stability in our system given that many of the goods we import are stranded in Chinese ports due to lockdowns. But while that backlog gets bigger and bigger on foreign seas, the amount of goods inside our country is getting increasingly smaller.

For certain categories, chronic shortages have become the new normal. One simple example is the national pet food shortage. Since the second half of 2020, pet food has been in short supply. Recently, it has gotten much worse. Finding canned pet food anywhere in the country has become nearly impossible. There just aren’t enough cheap sources of chicken and turkey around the country due to the bird flu outbreak. So what might look like a minor shortage on the surface is actually a result of a major protein shortage that’s aggravating all over the U.S.

These disruptions underscore just how vulnerable our supply chains are, and Americans are scrambling with fewer choices and sharp price increases. But at least for now, retailers are not imposing purchasing limits or rationing supplies as they’ve been doing in Europe. If record-high food prices weren’t enough. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has shrunk the global supply of essential grains, forcing the largest supermarket in the UK to begin rationing. As retailers panic about sourcing edible oils, it has pushed retail cooking oil prices up over 20%.

Food rationing because of shortages is one of the symptoms of an emerging and potentially catastrophic global food crisis. Russia and Ukraine typically account for approximately a third of global grain exports, particularly wheat. And we have to remember that way before the conflict started we were already facing an unprecedented global food crisis. Food prices are reaching stratospheric levels, and even the corporate-controlled media is doing lots of stories about it. By now, no one can hide the fact that wages aren’t keeping up with the pace of soaring inflation.

Low-income families are already struggling to put food on the table as high food and gas prices take a bigger bite of their already-small paychecks. Unfortunately, we are all going to face unforeseen challenges to make ends meet in the coming months. It is safe to say that those in power are not going to be able to prevent the nightmarish conditions which are rapidly approaching. The stage is set for a national food crisis and a worldwide famine. There is no avoiding that now. These are extremely troubled times, and they are only going to become even more troubled as the global supply chain breakdown causes more damages to the system over the next few months."

Must Watch! "A Complete Bloodbath: Stock Market Crushed - Get Out; Leaving California Next Week; Dip Buyers Vanish; Credit Card Fees"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 4/29/22:
"A Complete Bloodbath: Stock Market Crushed - Get Out; 
Leaving California Next Week; Dip Buyers Vanish; Credit Card Fees"

Gregory Mannarino, "Stock Market Craters Breaching A Key Level; Russia Threatens To Strike US Interests"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 4/29/22:
"Stock Market Craters Breaching A Key Level; 
Russia Threatens To Strike US Interests"
Related:
Market Data Center,
U.S. Market Data:
https://www.marketwatch.com/market-data

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, "Oltremare"

Ludovico Einaudi, "Oltremare"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The brightest three stars on the far left are indeed the famous three stars that make up the belt of Orion. Just below Alnitak, the lowest of the three belt stars, is the Flame Nebula, glowing with excited hydrogen gas and immersed in filaments of dark brown dust.
 
Below the frame center and just to the right of Alnitak lies the Horsehead Nebula, a dark indentation of dense dust that has perhaps the most recognized nebular shapes on the sky. On the upper right lies M42, the Orion Nebula, an energetic caldron of tumultuous gas, visible to the unaided eye, that is giving birth to a new open cluster of stars. Immediately to the left of M42 is a prominent bluish reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man that houses many bright blue stars. The above image, a digitally stitched composite taken over several nights, covers an area with objects that are roughly 1,500 light years away and spans about 75 light years.”

"We Are All Like Elephants"

"We Are All Like Elephants"
by Marc Chernoff

"In many ways, our past experiences have conditioned us to believe that we are less capable than we are. All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make. We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some opinionated person or narrow circumstance once told us was true. Of course, an old rejection doesn't mean we aren't good enough; it just means some person or circumstance from our past failed to align with what we had to offer at the time. But somehow we don't see it that way - we hit a mental barricade that stops us in our tracks.

This is one of the most common and damaging thought patterns we as human beings succumb to. Even though we intellectually know that we're gradually growing stronger than we were in the past, our subconscious mind often forgets that our capabilities have grown. Let me give you a quick metaphorical example.

Zookeepers typically strap a thin metal chain to a grown elephants leg and then attach the other end to a small wooden peg that's hammered into the ground. The 10-foot tall, 10,000-pound elephant could easily snap the chain, uproot the wooden peg and escape to freedom with minimal effort. But it doesn't. In fact the elephant never even tries. The worlds most powerful land animal, which can uproot a big tree as easily as you could break a toothpick, remains defeated by a small wooden peg and a flimsy chain.

Why? Because when the elephant was a baby, its trainers used the exact same methods to domesticate it. A thin chain was strapped around its leg and the other end of the chain was tied to a wooden peg in the ground. At the time, the chain and peg were strong enough to restrain the baby elephant. When it tried to break away, the metal chain would pull it back. Sometimes, tempted by the world it could see in the distance, the elephant would pull harder. But the chain would not budge, and soon the baby elephant realized trying to escape was not possible. So it stopped trying.

And now that the elephant is all grown up, it sees the chain and the peg and it remembers what it learned as a baby - the chain and peg are impossible to escape. Of course this is no longer true, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that the 200-pound baby is now a 10,000-pound powerhouse. The elephants self-limiting thoughts and beliefs prevail.

If you think about it, we are all like elephants. We all have incredible power inside us. And certainly, we have our own chains and pegs - the self-limiting thoughts and beliefs that hold us back. Sometimes it's a childhood experience or an old failure. Sometimes it's something we were told when we were a little younger. The key thing to realize here is this: We need to learn from the past, but be ready to update what we learned based on how our circumstances have changed (as they constantly do)." 

"I Pity You..."

“Said a philosopher to a street sweeper, “I pity you. Yours is a hard and dirty task.” And the street sweeper said, “Thank you, sir. But tell me, what is your task?” And the philosopher answered saying, “I study man’s mind, his deeds and his desires.” Then the street sweeper went on with his sweeping and said with a smile, “I pity you, too.”
- Kahlil Gibran

Free Download: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letters and Papers From Prison”

“The fact that the foolish person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the foolish person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings. “

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Feb. 4, 1906 - April 9, 1945) was a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, theologian, and active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. Due to his opposition to the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer was arrested and executed at the Flossian concentration camp, during the last month of the war.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letters and Papers From Prison”

Freely download “Letters and Papers From Prison”, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Reality..."

"Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.

- Gary Zukav

The Daily "Near You?"


Hilo, Hawaii, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

Bill Bonner, "An Elegant Symmetry"

"An Elegant Symmetry"
by Bill Bonner

Dublin, Ireland - "We are enjoying the elegant symmetry of real life. “Dollar soars to 20-year high as investors bet on Fed moves,” says the headline on page 7 of today’s Financial Times. Meanwhile, on page 11 comes this news: “Yen slides to 20-year low as BoJ rejects higher rates.” As ye sow, so do ye reap. What goes up must come down. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That kind of thing.

We are also basking in the rare glow of being proven right. Inflation has arrived. And the beginning of a recession. And as we saw earlier in the week, the techy hi-fliers that did ride so high... doth dismount.

Yes… dear reader. It doesn’t happen very often. We warned for years that spending money you don’t have will bring inflation… and that inflation will bring recession. But it’s like being nice to your grandparents. It takes a lifetime – until you become a grandparent yourself – before you appreciate the importance of it.

Painful Contractions: On Wednesday, the US reported that the economy is now going backwards. Business Insider with details: "The US economy contracted for the first time since the early days of the pandemic as historic inflation crashed into the otherwise strong recovery.

The country's gross domestic product shrank at an annualized rate of 1.4% through the first quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday morning. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg held a median estimate of 1.1% growth over the period. The print shows the recovery slowing massively from the 6.9% rate seen through the fourth quarter."

Naturally, the Biden Team didn’t see the downturn coming. They hadn’t seen inflation coming either. It’s amazing that they can cross Pennsylvania Avenue without getting run over; they see nothing coming. But they keep a bag of fraudulent explanations at the ready, just in case. Bloomberg:

President Joe Biden blamed the first contraction of the U.S. economy since 2020 on “technical factors,” saying that employment, consumer spending and investment all remain strong. “The American economy – powered by working families – continues to be resilient in the face of historic challenges,” Biden said in a statement. “While last quarter’s growth estimate was affected by technical factors, the United States confronts the challenges of COVID-19 around the world, Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength.”

The contraction came as a surprise, as economic forecasts projected growth of roughly 1%, presenting a fresh challenge for Biden and Democrats heading into the November midterm elections. There was nothing ‘technical’ about it. People have less money to spend (the gimmie/stimmies are running out). And wages are rising about 3 percentage points behind inflation – leaving people with less purchasing power. When people have less to spend, they spend less. And since spending is 70% of GDP, when spending goes down you should expect the economy to contract.

Nor was there anything surprising about it. Economists at several leading banks – along with former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers – have all said a recession is inevitable. It’s not magic. It’s not luck. It’s just symmetry. The Fed jazzed up the economy. Now, it’s turning down the music.

On the Obverse: Meanwhile, instead of dialing back inflation, the Japanese are turning up the knob – to 11. CNBC elaborates: "The Bank of Japan said on Wednesday it has decided to offer to buy an unlimited amount of 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGB) at 0.25%, in its third move to defend its yield target since February. The rise in yields comes as the yen weakens sharply to two-decade lows against the U.S. dollar, forcing markets to test the central bank’s commitment to its super easy yield-curve-control policy."

What a marvelous experiment! What a learning opportunity! It’s ‘inflate or die’ for central banks all over the world. The Japanese, bless their hearts, are going with ‘inflate.’ The yen rises as they signal that they’ll let the yen die rather than give up their goofy bond-buying program.

The Fed, for now at least, is taking the opposite side of the bet. It says it will take away the punchbowl; the party will die. Already, the Dow is off 8% for the year. The Nasdaq – where the hi-flying techs are – is down 20%. These indices disguise the real damage. The average meat-and-potatoes stock is down some 40%. But the dollar – anticipating higher interest rates – is rising. Bloomberg:

The ascendant U.S. dollar headed for its best month in a decade, as renewed yen selling cemented the greenback’s strength against major peers. A Bloomberg gauge of the greenback climbed to its highest level in nearly two years and has risen 4.5% this month, set for its best performance since May 2012. The dollar extended gains versus the yen, hitting a two-decade high, after the Bank of Japan kept interest rates at rock-bottom levels and defended its easy monetary policy. That contrasts with a Federal Reserve that has signaled aggressive rate hikes to combat inflation.

What will happen next? Who will be the winner? Who will flinch first? The Bank of Japan or the Fed? Will the Fed be able to stick to its ‘tightening’ program? Or will the Bank of Japan be forced to commit hari kari, a kind of central bank ritual suicide, in which it atones for 30 years of jackass manipulation? Tune in on Monday..."

"The Insanity of Stupid People in Power Pushing for War – Rejecting Peace"

"The Insanity of Stupid People in Power 
Pushing for War – Rejecting Peace"
by Martin Armstrong

"UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has backed Liz Truss’ view that Russian forces must be pushed out of “the whole of Ukraine” – and suggested this should include Crimea. Even the Guardian has accused Liz Truss’ position is “recklessly inflaming Ukraine’s war to serve her own ambition.” Meanwhile, in Russia, this is playing out on TV endorsing World War III. The Russian is of Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, is that the war in Ukraine is a war in which is the West openly seeking the destruction of Russia. Moscow has come to the realization that this is already World War III, and the comment emerging from London is that Britain will not back down until they achieve the complete victory over Moscow. Boris Johnson apparently told Zelensky not to accept any deal with Putin. There are no peacemakers among them only warmongers.

Socrates (Armstrongs forecasting computer program - CP) has NEVER been wrong on such geopolitical forecasts. These people at the helm of the West are totally insane. They seem to think they can actually destroy Russia, overthrow Putin, and somehow the Russian people will welcome their liberation. For years, I have warned that post-2032, we are staring into the eyes of the collapse of the West. The financial capital of the world will shift to China. I put out those forecasts years ago.

There is simply a cycle to everything. The rise and fall of nations also follow a cyclical beat. I have put out those forecasts long before these events. "How Empires Die" illustrates that there is a cycle to the rise and fall of empires, nations, and city-states. If that statement were not true, we should all still be speaking Babylonian.

Nobody wishes these forecasts would be wrong more so than I. This is not something in which I take pleasure in pounding my chest and screaming I told you so! I have grandchildren who will never know the freedom or peace in which I grew up. All I can do is try to scream loud enough that maybe we can not prevent the outcome, but reduce the volatility during this transition."
Related: